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Eurocamara and ex-prosecutor Ortega urge the ICC to move forward on the case Venezuela

Ⓒ AFP – FREDERICK FLORIN – | The president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, on March 14, 2018 in the European Parliament in Strasbourg

The president of the Eurocámara, Antonio Tajani, and the former Venezuelan attorney general, Luisa Ortega, urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday to advance its preliminary examination for “alleged crimes” in the Latin American country in 2017.

“We ask the international tribunal to go forward,” Tajani told a news conference after meeting with Ortega, in his opinion “the last democratic prosecutor of Venezuela,” at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (northeast of France).

On February 8, the ICC announced the beginning of that preliminary examination on the situation in Venezuela, where some 125 people lost their lives in 2017 during opposition demonstrations.

The decision responded to reports of use of “excessive force” by state security forces to “disperse and suppress” protests, and use of “violent means” by protesters opposed to the government.

For Ortega, who deposited in November a file of 1,000 pieces of evidence against President Nicolás Maduro and his government, the court should have admitted the allegations made instead of opening a preliminary examination.

“I denounced the execution of more than 8,000 Venezuelans between 2015, 2016 and 2017, reported torture, disappearance, imprisonment, arbitrary arrests, arrests and massive raids without warrants, military trials of civilians,” he explained.

The former prosecutor, exiled after breaking with Caracas in the midst of the mobilizations, blamed these “violations of human rights in Venezuela”, “President Nicolás Maduro and his generals” in reference to the Minister of Defense and the Minister of the Interior.

The European Parliament had urged in a resolution the same day of the announcement of the preliminary examination to the prosecution of the ICC to initiate “investigations into the human rights violations perpetrated by the Venezuelan regime.”

Tajani and Ortega also regretted the situation in the Latin American country, where “citizens are dying of hunger”, in the words of Tajani, who called to help countries like Colombia where Venezuelans arrive fleeing the country, as did the ex-prosecutor.

On the presidential election scheduled for May 20, the European official of Italian origin considered that, with these “irregular elections”, the authorities “try to hold a party to defend Mr. Maduro.”

“That does not have anything of democracy, of transparency, of equality, of possibility that a different option to Nicolás Maduro is the winner,” added Ortega, for whom “those elections can not be carried out.”

The elections are rejected by several countries and organs, as well as by the coalition of the Democratic Unity Table (MUD), considering that there are no guarantees of transparency.

Maduro will face the former governor Henri Falcón, dissident chavista who registered against the decision of the MUD, and three other little-known candidates.

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